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Elizabeth Heiskell’s Coconut Glop Cake Recipe

Excerpted from What Can I Bring?:

I come from a very long line of amazing cooks—my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, and my father. The stories about my great-grandmother are legendary. If she ever baked a cake, especially a coconut cake, that didn’t turn out, instead of simply throwing it in the garbage can, she would dig a hole in the backyard and bury it so no one would know she had made a mistake. When Luke and I were dating, his mother came to town from Dallas and I wanted to put on the dog to impress her. I went to the Gourmet of the Delta cookbook. My great-grandmother, great-aunt, and grandmother had many recipes printed in this Episcopal ladies’ cookbook. I prepared my great-grandmother’s corn soufflé. If it was her recipe I knew it would be perfect. Well, it never cooked, it didn’t puff, and it was a complete disaster. I called my grandmother the next day to figure out what I did wrong. When I told her the recipe I chose she chuckled and said, “Don’t use any recipes your great-grandmother submitted to a cookbook.” Grandmother explained that her mom always left out or changed an ingredient so no one else could make the recipe as well as she did. That tidbit of intel would have been more helpful before I’d put my blood, sweat, and tears into that soufflé.

Coconut Glop Cake

Serves 12

Hands-on 40 minutes/Total 26 hours, 40 minutes, including 26 hours chilling


For the Cake:

2 cups sugar
12 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream

For Cake Layers:

1 (15.25-ounce) package butter golden cake mix (such as Duncan Hines)

For Icing:

1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping (such as Cool Whip), thawed


  1. Prepare the Coconut Glop: Stir together the sugar, coconut, and sour cream in a bowl; cover and chill 2 hours.
  2. Prepare the Cake Layers: Prepare the baked and cooled cake layers according to package directions using 2 (8-inch) round cake pans.
  3. Cut each cake layer in half horizontally using a serrated knife, making 4 layers. Place 1 cake layer on a serving platter. Stir the chilled Coconut Glop; remove and reserve 1 cup for Icing. Spread the remaining Coconut Glop (about 1 cup each) between the cake layers.
  4. Prepare the Icing: Stir together the whipped topping and the reserved 1 cup Coconut Glop. Spread the Icing on top and sides of cake. Chill the cake for at least 24 hours or up to 2 days.


Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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